I have weak vocal chords. They strain pretty easily. This is typically not a big deal because I’m also not a loud person. I only yell when I need to call someone from far away. I’m more of a soft-spoken type of person. But last week, I had bronchitis (don’t worry- it’s wasn’t that bad), and that strained my vocal chords enough that without any yelling at all, my voice went away completely. It was pretty rough. I couldn’t talk at all for 2 days, and for another 2-3 my voice sounded super funny and I had to be careful not to use it too much.
A week later, I am almost entirely better. My voice is back (thank goodness!), and I’m reflecting on what I learned from not being able to talk to my charges. It was an interesting week.
1) You’d be surprised how much you can say without words. Facial expressions and some general pointing and made-up sign language can get you by alright for a while. You’d also be surprised how much you CAN’T say without words. It got pretty frustrating at times. I ended up just giving my younger charge (who’s 4 and can’t read yet) lots of hugs when she couldn’t understand what I was trying to tell her. That helped.
2) Laryngitis can lead to a fun game in which your old charge pretends to have laryngitis too! He got a lot of practice reading and writing. 🙂
3) Google Translate is pretty awesome. After a frustrating first day with no voice, I discovered this wonderful program, which allows you to type whatever you like and have it spoken by the computer. Side note- your younger charges might decide that they suddenly have a lot of questions for the computer. The computer at my charges’ house, it turns out, is quite silly. Who knew? 😉
4) Maybe I talk too much sometimes. I was a little amazed at how effective one little look could be in replacing a whole sentence.
5) Tiny nurses are adorable and wonderful. Mr. 7 scolded me if I tried to talk to him, “You need to stop talking, Amy! How is your voice going to get better if you don’t rest it?”
I got by very well without my voice, all things considered. However, I won’t be in this situation again for a very long time. 🙂